In this episode of the Legal Marketing 2.0 Podcast, Guy is joined by Alexandra Morren, a competitive intelligence analyst at Morris, Nichols, Arsht & Tunnell LLP. She has served in various roles within the marketing field for nearly a decade and has worked in the legal space for over half that time. At her current firm, she supports the competitive intelligence efforts and broader business development initiatives of the firm. When she’s not nose-deep in research or sharing actionable insights with attorneys, she manages her firm’s social media presence from content planning to execution and has spent the last four years running bimonthly LinkedIn Clinics for her firm’s attorneys.
1. Your title, competitive intelligence analyst, is unique, and it sounds like you’re playing a marketing role as well at your firm. How did it come about?
I actually started more in a knowledge management role. I also did some marketing as well; we kind of wear many hats at this firm. We have a relatively small team, so everyone pitches in where they can. My role has evolved over time to focus more on the competitive intelligence side. But I had taken on the social media aspect early on because I think our bandwidth was stretched a little bit, and it was something I had experience with. So they just let me run with it and gave me a decent amount of responsibility. Over time I managed from beginning to end all of our social media content. I think that it does kind of play in well because through my competitive intelligence research, I really do come upon a lot of Linkedin and trial profiles every week. I still see a lot of room for growth for lawyers who could be doing more to optimize their profiles and their overall private presence so they can get the most out of the platform. It is kind of funny how the two sides really do tie in well together.
2. From your perspective, why should attorneys join and use LinkedIn?
There are just so many reasons as I’m sure you’d agree. Over the years Linkedin has become very widely regarded as the most popular social networking platform for professionals. Some of the most recent figures I’ve seen on this are from the American Bar Association’s 2021 Legal Technology Survey Report. That report noted that 87% of the respondents’ law firms had a presence on Linkedin and 90% of individual respondents reported that they personally use Linkedin. So it’s very clear that lawyers are online, so if you’re not, you should really start to think about it. Linkedin has so many different tools, and there are so many different ways that you can advance your goals, whether they’re in career, development, networking, client development, or current awareness. All those different things can be achieved using Linkedin. If you have the right foundation, and I know that the lawyers at my firm and elsewhere, who I’ve seen have leveraged this power of Linkedin. They’ve seen that their online connections do really have the ability to strengthen their real-world relationships and enhance their brands, reputation, and credibility at the same time
3. Can you share some tips about how attorneys can optimize their profiles to stand out?
I see a ton of profiles that are left incomplete, or they’re outdated, and it’s usually pretty clear when you pull them up. I always encourage my attorneys that if they want to level up on Linkedin, they really need to start by making sure they covered the basics. Without that solid foundation of an optimized profile, and having a strong network of initial connections to begin, the other goals that they have for the platform might be hindered along the way. Your profile photo sets the tone of your profile. If I see a profile that doesn’t have a profile photo, I think that’s not sending the right message for the rest of it, so definitely do not move on without a profile photo. Another thing that sticks out to me is the headline. We can be a lot more descriptive so it’s easier for folks to find us and to understand who we are upon looking at the profile at first glance. Folks should try to add more descriptions for their practice, like “I’m a personal injury attorney or a family lawyer.” These descriptive words really help when we are running an open-ended search, looking for a particular type of lawyer.
The last main section that I think folks should focus on is having a compelling “About” section. It should really provide readers with a summary of what you do, who you help, and who you are before they look through the rest of your experience, which can be very lengthy, depending on the profile. If you don’t know where to start, yes, you can definitely pull from your firm’s website biography, and turn it into a first-person, which covers the what you, do part. Differentiate yourself by describing your ideal client, the base talking about how you go about problem-solving. Do you use the hands-on approach like really focusing in that section on what makes you different? Those are just some of the opportunities and are really what I consider to be the core sections that lawyers should focus on.
If you are eager to level up your digital presence on LinkedIn, start by making sure you’ve covered the basics: a compelling about section in your LinkedIn profile; thoughtful, yet succinct descriptions sprinkled throughout; connecting on LinkedIn with colleagues you work with often; and so on. Once you’ve optimized your presence behind the scenes, leverage LinkedIn further by building time into your daily routine to review your news feed, pending connections, and content calendar for opportunities to engage with the community. Online connections strengthen real-world relationships and enhance your brand’s overall reputation and credibility.
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